List of World War II military service football teams

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This List of World War II military service football teams includes all those top-level American football teams consisting of active duty military personnel of the United States Armed Forces which played against collegiate or professional opponents during the seasons 1942, 1943, or 1944.

Background[edit]

During the years of World War II the American military saw a rapid expansion of its system of military bases as the number of young men skyrocketed through enlistment and conscription. Many of these included former collegiate and professional stars of the football gridiron. Some 19 active or former players of the National Football League would ultimately die in the American war effort,[1] in addition to an uncounted number of former collegians.

Early in the war effort one football writer waxed poetic about the applicability of the formation of football teams with military training:

"Football is a body-toughener. Football lights the fighting spark in fighting men. It develops aggressiveness, teamwork, stamina, physical and mental coordination under active stress, and therefore it holds a foremost place in our national wartime training program. Teams by the hundreds are in formation at various Army camps and posts and Navy bases. The greatest participation in the history of the sport will be entered in the records of 1942."[2]

Beginning in the fall of 1942 the War Department began to promote organized football exhibitions involving select teams from its military bases which played full schedules against the depleted squads of regional universities.[3] These elite teams are included in the following list.

These were further distilled into military All-Star Teams which played against collegiate and professional opponents. In 1942 the U.S. Army named two "All-Army teams" of approximately 60 players per unit, located in the East and West.[4] These were informally known as the "Million Dollar teams" — their purpose being to raise upwards of $1 million for the Army Emergency Relief fund through a series of exhibition clashes with the professional teams of the National Football League.[4] The Eastern Army All-Star team was led by Lt. Col. Robert R. Neyland, and played September 1942 games against the New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Chicago Bears.[4] The Western All-Stars, coached by Major Wallace Wade Duke University coach played a slate including games beginning late in August 1942 against the Washington Redskins, Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and New York Giants.

List of teams[edit]

United States Army teams[edit]

Teams associated with the bases of the United States Army included:

1942 Record: 4-3-2

United States Army Air Forces teams[edit]

Teams associated with the bases of the United States Army Air Forces included:

1942 Results (7-1-1)
Skycrackers 14, University of Pennsylvania 6.
Skycrackers 14, Cloudbusters 14.
Skycrackers 26, Duke University 12.
Skycrackers 26, Pensacola Naval Air Station 0.
Louisiana State University 34, Skycrackers 0.
Skycrackers 20, Jacksonville Navy Air Station 6.
Skycrackers 31, Auburn 14.
Skycrackers 7, Tulane University 0.
Skycrackers 39, University of Alabama 14.
1942 Results (7-3)
Seahawks 61, Kansas 0.
Seahawks 20, Northwestern 12.
Seahawks 7, Minnesota 6.
Seahawks 26, Michigan 14.
Notre Dame 28, Seahawks 0.
Seahawks 26, Indiana 6.
Seahawks 46, Nebraska 0.
Seahawks 13, Fort Knox 7.
Ohio State 41, Seahawks 12.
Missouri 7, Seahawks 0.
In 1943 Iowa Pre-Flight finished the season 9-1 and was ranked by the Associated Press as the #2 college football team in the United States.

United States Navy teams[edit]

Teams associated with the bases of the United States Navy included:

1942 Results (8-2-1)
Cloudbusters 13, Catawba College 2.
Cloudbusters 13, Harvard 0.
Cloudbusters 14, Georgia Skycrackers 14.
Cloudbusters 19, North Carolina State 7.
Boston College 7, Cloudbusters 6.
Cloudbusters 34, Temple University 0.
Cloudbusters 9, Syracuse University 0.
Cloudbusters 23, Georgetown University 7.
Cloudbusters 17, Manhattan 0.
Cloudbusters 14, William and Mary 0.
Fordham University 6, Cloudbusters 0.
1942 Results (8-3-1)
At Michigan 9, Bluejackets 0.
Bluejackets 25, at Iowa 0.
Bluejackets 7, Pittsburgh 6.
Wisconsin 13, Bluejackets 7, at Soldier Field.
At Michigan State 14, Bluejackets 0.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets win over opponent.
Bluejackets 13, Notre Dame 13.
The team was coached by former Ohio State University coach Paul Brown in 1944.
1942 Results (6-3-1)
St. Mary's 38, College of the Pacific 9
St. Mary's 10, University of Oregon 9.
St. Mary's 18, UCLA 7.
St. Mary's 40, Coast Guard 0.
St. Mary's 59, Santa Ana Air Base 0.
St. Mary's 0, University of Washington 0.
St. Mary's 13, Santa Clara 6.
Stanford University 28, St. Mary's 13.
California 12, St. Mary's 6.
USC 21, St. Mary's 13.

United States Coast Guard teams[edit]

Teams associated with the bases of the United States Coast Guard included:

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Football and America: World War II," Professional Football Hall of Fame, pg. 2. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Eddie Dooley, "The Service Teams," 1942 Football Illustrated Annual. New York: Fiction House, Inc., 1942; pg. 21.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Jack Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," 1943 Football Illustrated Annual. New York: Fiction House, Inc., 1943; pg. 16.
  4. ^ a b c Dooley, "The Service Teams," pg. 22.
  5. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pg. 18.
  6. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pp. 19-20.
  7. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pg. 19.
  8. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pp. 18-19.
  9. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pg. 22.
  10. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pg. 21.
  11. ^ Byrne, "The Service Teams USA," pp. 20-21.